Evelyn, just a couple months ago.
Today I am feeling some exquisite pain that I have never really felt before. It is an unusual pain and I call it exquisite because it is coupled with the most enormous joy my heart has ever held. It is the pain/joy of motherhood.
Finn, one year ago.
I was just surfing Facebook, befriending some women I just met this morning, and I saw a photo of someone's kid. A boy, probably six or so, and he looked a little like Finn. His eyes were dark brown and all of the sudden it hit me - Finn will be this big someday. He will grow up into a sweaty, wild boy. Into his own person. One day he and I will not be intricately intertwined as we are now. And I just started weeping. Big, heavy tears.
This emotion is something other mothers may be familiar with, but it is new to me, and it is both terrible and beautiful. This fear and pride of allowing my children independence, and knowing that someday they will be their own.
With this feeling bubbling up, scraping my heart on the inside, I have to remember to cherish these fleeting moments. Holding my sweet little daughter close to me, smelling her milky skin. She and I are still just one being, pretty much. Her degree of need is high, and I sustain her. I relish our time together, because before I know it she will be on the brink of 2, like Finn, and wanting independence more than anything. For now, though, she is completely mine.
Lately I have spent too much time not living. I have spent days at a time feeling disconnected from myself and others. I waste time online, reading blogs and feeling inspired, but then doing nothing with that feeling. It may be because I am new in this town, and save my sister-in-law I have no friends. Or maybe I disconnected a little when I moved, saving the sadness of leaving for later. That later is now. Now I acutely miss my friends and my town.
Missing the extremely well developed and organized farmers' market back in Columbia, I stopped in yesterday to a local farmers' market hosted by Grace Episcopal Church. I love that they find a connection between faith and food. In general I am impressed with the Episcopal concern for a healthy planet and healthy people.
I barely made it, but I met five or six producers and came away with some beautiful, fresh food.
I also spent hardly any time online yesterday and today, besides writing this update, in order to reconnect. I am feeling a lot better overall and am excited to recommit to my goals. Nothing huge, just goals to live simply, to buy handmade and local, to make most things from scratch, to enjoy the small pleasures.
And though I desperately miss my friends, especially Natalie and Jessie, every day this place feels a little more like home.
We've successfully moved to Tennessee! It feels unreal but here we are, unpacked and beginning to explore this wonderful city. It is an entirely different move than the move to Missouri four years ago. This time, we have family living here, so we have built-in friends and tour guides as well. When we want to go check out the free concert by the river, we just caravan with them. They know where to park for free, after all. And when we need someone to help watch the kids, we call them. They call us to let us know about the specials around town, but they also give us space to let us learn for ourselves. And there has been a lot of learning going on!
Evelyn has learned to look in my eyes and smile and coo at me. It's pretty incredible, as she's morphing from baby-blob to actual interacting baby.
Finn has been learning how to take turns and how to work things out with his cousin and new best friend Eli. It's great to watch those two interact. They are a year apart in age, but they clearly adore one another and get along wonderfully most of the time.
My husband and I celebrate our four year anniversary today, and we learn more every day how best to love one another. We keep learning and re-learning to trust the other's heart and intentions - that they are good. We learn when to speak and when not to, and what to say. We learn about one another's dreams and goals, and we work to fulfill them. We learn to parent together, and to create a home together. Ultimately, we learn to walk together in love.